Meetings and Conferences

Annual Conference and AGM 2017

Date and time: Friday 15th September 2017, 9.30-5.30pm

Location: The Bridge Centre, Birches Head Rd, Stoke-on-Trent, ST2 8DD

Full details of how to access the venue via public transport are available on request.

The NACCOM Annual Conference aims to support and resource existing organisations across the UK that are tackling destitution through accommodation, empower those who want to start a new project and envision and challenge those who are interested in finding out more.

The format is informal and interactive, with keynote speeches, reports and interviews from long-standing and new projects and a choice of informative and inspiring workshops.

Tickets are now on sale here

Programme (please note this is subject to minor changes)

9.30        Registration and Refreshments

10.00     Welcome and Introduction to the Day,  Overview of last 12 months- Julian Prior (Chair of Trustees, CEO of Action Foundation)

Overview of Annual survey results – Lucy Smith (NACCOM Communications and Advocacy Worker)

10.20     Guest Speaker – Estelle Worthington (Campaigns Project Manager, North West- Asylum Matters)

10.40    NACCOM’s Advocacy Strategy – looking at goals for the year ahead and how members can play a key role- Lucy Smith

10.50    Q & A on Advocacy (chaired by Dave Smith)

11.10     Refreshment Break

11.25     MORNING WORKSHOPS (see below)


1.40       Project Focus – Sanctus St Marks – with Sally Smith and representatives from the local community

2.00      AFTERNOON WORKSHOPS  (see below)

3.15       Refreshment Break

3.30       NACCOM – the future: Capacity Building and Hosting Toolkit – Dave Smith / Membership and Website – Lucy Smith

3.50       Evaluation session

4.20       Final plenary – Julian Prior

4.30 – 5.00  AGM (see below)


How to speak up for change- Asylum Matters, I-Mix and NACCOM Action Group members.

The importance of immigration advice when working with those with no recourse to public funds and models of legal advice in service delivery- Carolina Albuerne (Refugee Action)

A positive approach to safeguarding and risk management- Jon Beech (LASSN)

So you think it is all over – the challenges and pitfalls of being granted refugee status and moving on – Anna Lewis, Open Door North East

Growing your Small Project- Dave Smith (NACCOM Membership Capacity Builder)


Information Gathering – how and why bother?- Ros Holland (Boaz Trust) and Rachael Bee (Bristol Hospitality Network)

Starting and Running Night Shelters- Alastair Murray (Housing Justice) and Jonny Wilson (former night shelter coordinator at the Boaz Trust)

Mental Health support for asylum seekers- (Facilitators TBC)

Increasing Your Accommodation Capacity- Paul Catterall (Open Door North East) & Dave Smith (NACCOM/Boaz Trust)

Developing creative communication techniques- with input from a range of NACCOM members including Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre.

For more on the speakers and workshop facilitators, see below.

Please note delegates will be able to choose workshops in advance, operating on a first come first served basis as spaces will be limited.

There will also be a market stall area for delegates to find out more about other projects (please note spaces for this are limited and will also be offered on a first come first served basis- you can book a space on your booking form).

Biographies on Speakers and Workshop Facilitators


Julian Prior- Julian is the Chair of Trustees at NACCOM and has been involved with the network since it began. He is also the CEO and founder of Action Foundation, an award-winning charity based in Newcastle and across Sunderland, delivering accommodation to both destitute asylum seekers and refugees through hosting and housing, and other support services including English classes. Julian is also a fellow of the Centre for Social Justice.

Dave Smith – Dave is NACCOM’s Membership Capacity Builder (formerly NACCOM Coordinator) and has overseen the network since it was established in 2006. Alongside this role he continues to work for the Boaz Trust, a charity he set up in 2004 after meeting destitute asylum seekers who had nowhere to turn for help. Dave is passionate about seeing an end to destitution, both through partnership working with others in the sector, and by supporting projects to meet growing needs. At the conference this year Dave will be sharing about the launch of regional hubs and other plans to resource members throughout the year ahead.

Lucy Smith- Lucy is NACCOM’s Communications and Advocacy Worker, a role she has held since November 2015. She is passionate about seeing an end to destitution and developing a collective voice for change from across the network. In various fundraising and communications roles, she has worked or volunteered with a number of NACCOM projects since 2010. At the conference this year, she will be sharing NACCOM’s Advocacy Strategy, and identifying ways in which network members can contribute to calls for change to the system.

Sally Smith- Sally is the Director of Sanctus St. Mark’s C.I.C, a social enterprise set up in 2014 to support asylum seekers and refugees in Stoke on Trent. She is also the Vicar of St Mark’s, the local church where Sanctus is based. At their weekly drop in, Sally and the team typically see over 200 refugees and asylum seekers, and the charity provides bed spaces for 21 individuals at a time in local properties.

Estelle Worthington- Estelle is Asylum Matter’s Campaigns Project Manager for the North West. Asylum Matters works in partnership locally and nationally to improve the lives of refugees and people seeking asylum through social and political change. Estelle is passionate about making the UK more welcoming to refugees and began volunteering with people seeking asylum back in 2006 while doing an MA in Anthropological Research. In the intervening years, she has worked with marginalised communities in various ways, including in community engagement, community development, equalities research and policy work.

Workshop facilitators

Carolina Albuerne – Carolina is an expert practitioner in the rights of asylum seekers, refugees and other vulnerable migrants. She has over thirteen years of front line experience combined with academic specialism in the refugee field. She has expertise in working with vulnerable populations such as victims of trafficking and torture and is an experienced trainer and facilitator. She has worked for the Refugee Council, Freedom from Torture, Solace (Surviving Exile and Persecution) and the Poppy Project amongst others, and currently works at Refugee Action as Good Practice and Partnerships Manager.

Rachael Bee – Rachael is a Trustee for NACCOM, having been involved with the network since 2010 and a member of the Steering Group since 2012. In 2009 she set up Bristol Hospitality Network alongside Dr. Naomi Milner and became the first paid Manager in 2014. This network provides community hosting for asylum seekers with no recourse to public funds. Since 2013, Rachael has also established a small social enterprise, ‘Refugee Welcome Homes’.

Jon Beech – Jon is the Director of Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network (LASSN), a charity that was set up in 2001 and includes a ‘Befriending Project’, ‘English at Home Project’ and ‘Grace Hosting’. Jon also chairs the Leeds Migration Partnership, which brings together statutory and voluntary orgs to think and act strategically about migration. Before moving to LASSN, Jon has worked for a range of other organisations including Touchstone in Leeds, Mind and Shelter and for a local authority as a homeless officer.

Paul Catterall – Paul leads Open Door North East, a housing provider and support service for destitute asylum seekers and refugees in Middlesbrough and the surrounding area. The charity, which operates a hosting scheme and housing in local properties, accommodated over 160 people last year. Paul has led the charity since 2009 and has worked in the refugee and asylum sector since 2005, with 20 years previous local government experience in urban regeneration. Paul has been involved with the NACCOM network since 2006 and serves on the Board of Trustees as Treasurer.

Ros Holland- Ros has worked with asylum seekers and refugees at the Boaz Trust, a charity based in Manchester, for over 9 years and has been Chief Exec since 2013. The charity started in June 2004 and seeks to end destitution amongst people seeking sanctuary, empower people seeking sanctuary, and equip churches and others to serve people seeking sanctuary in their communities. Ros previously worked in Devon with the Children’s Society and in London for Tearfund. She has recently moved even further north from Oldham to Bolton, where she now lives with her husband Darren, and their children Grace and Seth.

Niall Mann- Niall is the Communications Officer at Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre and is also a press officer for IMiX, the communications hub for the migrant and refugee sector. IMiX was established in 2016 and provides free on-going advice and support to migration, refugee and integration organisations and groups on communications and media, through connecting groups with journalists and supporting with press releases and campaign planning.

Alastair Murray- Alastair is a Trustee of NACCOM and is the London Development Coordinator at Housing Justice, the national Christian housing and homelessness campaigning charity. Since 2003 he has worked with NACCOM and others to support destitute migrants and refugees, including Hosting and Church and Community Night Shelters. Housing Justice is a member of the ‘Strategic Alliance on Migrant Destitution’ and leads in the development of the London Hosting Network.

On the same day as the Annual Conference we will hold our 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM), which will take place after the main conference has concluded. The AGM is expected to run from 4:30- 5.00pm and we invite all delegates to stay for this short but important part of the day, where members are entitled to elect/re-elect trustees and all attendees can hear more about the development of the network.

After the AGM, we will go somewhere local to eat together. We understand that travel plans may prohibit you from joining us for this part, but if you’re able to stay a little later, please do!

More details and papers associated with the AGM will be circulated to delegates nearer the time.

We hope to see you there. Book your tickets today!

Member organisations can access resources from past conferences via the Members Area Library.

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